Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf announced today that star running back Adrian Peterson has been deactivated from the team. Peterson was deactivated by the Vikings last week, but Wilf reinstated him on Monday after his team lost 30-7 to the Patriots.
In a press conference today, Wilf called his decision to reinstate Peterson a “mistake” and said Peterson will remain inactive until the child abuse investigation centered on him concludes.
“We made a mistake and we needed to get this right,” Wilf told the media today. "We embrace our role in the community, and the responsibilities that go with it. It is important to always listen to our fans, the community and our sponsors."
The Vikings reinstatement of Peterson on Monday drew intense criticism from both the public and the Vikings’ corporate sponsors. The mega hotel comany Radisson suspended their partnership with the team, and Anheuser Busch wrote an open letter to the NFL expressing concern over the league’s handling of recent domestic abuse scandals.
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When Wilf reinstated Peterson, he was blasted for valuing football over the opportunity to take a strong public stance against child abuse. Wilf says his decision to deactivate Peterson proves this is not the case.
"Our goal is to always make the decision we feel is right for the Minnesota Vikings, and to be clear, we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right,” Wilf said.
Wilf’s announcement has elicited mixed reviews. Some praise it, and champion this as another example of a vocal public forcing a powerful entity’s hand. Some criticize it, and say Wylf should have let the legal process play out before acting. Many others, possibly even the majority of people, have mixed emotions. They acknowledge that Wilf didn’t make this decision because he thinks it’s the right thing to do -- he did it to cover his ass. You’ll find a much broader span of opinions on this case than on the Ray Rice scandal.
In any event, one of the NFL’s biggest stars won’t be on the field any time soon. Peterson has a court date on October 8, at which he will formally defend himself against the child abuse charges brought against him.